Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Rose Area - Pre Mow

Despite the frequent rains, most of the low lying areas at Blue Jay Barrens are still firm.  As winter progresses, these areas will become increasingly soft, so those that are scheduled to be mowed need to be done fairly soon.  This is the area of the rose thicket that I took out last year.  This area needs to be mowed so I can detect any rose sprouts that will require treatment next spring.  I’m also going to mow a portion of the adjoining field that hasn’t been mowed for several years.

The masses of rose canes left after last year’s mowing have partially decomposed and are now covered by plant material produced this year.  Very few rose sprouts survived the mowing and glyphosate treatment.  The area is quickly filling with a mix of native species.

It’s hard to imagine that this was a solid mass of Multiflora Rose bushes just one year ago.  If I didn’t know the history of the site, I would say that it could be left untouched.  The fact that there are still a couple of healthy root masses supporting rose canes means that the area must be thoroughly searched and those roses destroyed.  Mowing is the surest way of examining every square foot of field area and finding those remaining roses.

The neighboring field is in the process of transitioning from goldenrods to Indian Grass.  It won’t be many years before the Indian Grass has taken over.

The Indian Grass is thickest near the center of the narrow field.  Shade from trees along the field edge has slowed the progress of the tall grass, but the Indian Grass advancement continues.  Small shrubs and trees are beginning to show themselves in the grass.  JR stands ready with a fresh batch of red flags to be used as markers of invasive species in need of elimination.

There are a few Eastern Red Cedars becoming established in the Indian Grass.  I clip these off at ground level prior to mowing just to make certain that there is no green growth left to maintain the plant.  When cut off at the ground, cedars will not sprout or continue to grow.

I also searched through the Indian Grass for Oaks that I didn’t want to cut.  This would be a near impossible task if the oaks didn’t maintain their leaves so long into the winter.

The Goldenrod and Indian Grass areas contained several Multiflora Rose bushes.  I suspected that would be the case since the former rose thicket would have produced seeds enough to easily pollute the surrounding area.  With the thicket no longer in existence, the influx of new rose plants should be greatly reduced.

I always find a few bird nests while mowing.  This nest was built in a goldenrod that had branched in response to a gall attack. 

No comments:

Post a Comment